This game teaches strategy and resource management while poking good-natured fun at world politics. The biggest change you'll see in Tropico 6 is the addition of multiple islands to manage with a range of new challenges: Perhaps corn, bananas, and sugar only grow on an island separate from your settlement. Or perhaps good grazing for livestock is three islands over. With limited income, how do you get industry going when the people need food, housing, and healthcare? You'll find your people are harder to keep happy this time, thanks to better AI (artificial intelligence). Should they become unhappy with your leadership, your time in office is over. Thankfully, your regime has all the usual rebellion-crushing tools: surveillance, spies, and military police. You can also tail individuals, read their thoughts, and bribe, imprison, or kill them before they can cause too much trouble.
This underhandedness is what makes Tropico 6 a disturbing but useful teaching tool. Teens wanting to make sense of the current political landscape can gain real insight into the difficulties of governance through a presentation that offers a funny but spot-on critique of how absolute power corrupts absolutely. Moreover, the various single-player scenarios offer hands-on lessons in resource and relationship management. It's not easy to keep the various factions happy, and this makes themed missions very challenging. (Sometimes they're challenging for the wrong reasons: misleading objectives, finicky road placement tools, and vague menus that don't provide clear enough feedback.) In spite of/because of the difficulty, though, single-player missions provide countless hours of entertainment, and when they're cleared, there's single-player sandbox mode and online multiplayer mode. With all this to enjoy -- despite its new features being a bit mild -- Tropico 6 is worth a purchase.